It is easy now, especially now, to be surrounded by opinions and conflict and impending doom. I have to be careful what I intake lest I am saturated with all the dread and stress of the world. Sometimes it is exhausting trying to discern what is accurate.
It feels like the unending spring rains of Evansville, Indiana. At least it feels like they can be unending. Our first year here I bought everyone a pair of rain boots because it seemed like it was always raining.
The ground was often squishy. There were always puddles to navigate on the sidewalks and in parking lots. There were often flooded streets because the rain came so hard and fast the sewer system could not keep up.
Today, I am thankful for the sunshine. I love the sunshine-y days; the ones when I need to pull out my sunglasses to navigate the bright world. I am thankful that God’s Word cuts through the darkness and gives me light. Meditating on a passage of God’s Word can be a great way to have an inflow of Truth and Light!
What is one of your favorite verses? I find new favorites all the time. I am thankful God sent His Word to me and it is always relevant and always just what I need!
Some of it I don’t treasure but I do lug it around. I took it to Indiana from Nebraska. Then we moved to New York and I took it there too. And then we moved back to Indiana. Guess what? We brought it along. But I need to purge and donate some of these things I have been lugging around. I am tired of looking at it.
But it takes some time and some thought.
I tend to mull things around. And when I see these things I think, “This has potential!” I don’t feel like I am a collector of stuff but I have it all the same. Managing all this stuff takes away from more important things. It can also bog down my heart and mind. Sometimes I worry about the stuff being stolen. Or I think about what happens if there is a tornado or a flood. Then what about this stuff? Is all of it necessary? Some of this stuff is heavy —
And it isn’t just physical stuff, either!
I try not to lug around unhealthy, ugly thoughts but some do follow me from place to place. Even if I know things have been forgiven and resolved the emotions attached to the situations seem to come alive again and again. It’s like Groundhog Day! And those things I “put on a shelf until later” are always there waiting for me to review. Do I treasure my right to be angry? Do I treasure being at odds with some people? Do I harbor unforgiveness towards others who have wronged me? What emotional and spiritual stuff am I carrying around that I need to take some time and thought and process?
We do have to live this life so some of our energy needs to go to working our jobs, whatever those may be. But discovering what I do treasure and working on lining that up with what God treasures is worth doing daily. Each day is an opportunity to revisit God’s Word and His blessings and understand more about what He treasures.
20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. [Matthew 6:20-22, NIV]
May God bless you as you ponder what you treasure!
I can’t help myself when I hear an accent; I want to know where people are from and I try to ask in a loving way. I know of people who have worked to perfect their speaking so their accent is nearly undetectable. They don’t want to stand out. I love to hear accents because so much of my early years I spent around people who were learning English as a second language and while we all have unique stories, I am sure that someone with a heavy accent has something fascinating to share.
Where are you from?
At first I might be inclined to answer the question from a physical standpoint. I am originally from Youngstown, OH but then I spent quite a few years in Nebraska and then in Indiana. There were a few other places in there but they’re not really worth mentioning. But the truth is all the places along my path made a bit of an impact on my journey, one way or another – even those brief side roads. They are a part of my story.
From where do you come?
Don’t think so much in terms of the physical space but the experiences that describe your childhood or youth or young adulthood. Do you allow them to have their space as descriptive? Or are these experiences defining? Do you rest on them and remember them often? Do you try to bury them? Are they good things? Or bad?
Are you stuck in that hard place?
Sometimes we can get so caught up in where we have been that we miss the places we can go. Being stuck in our history isn’t helpful. But if there are some things to work through and resolve, burying those things isn’t the answer either. There are times it takes years to understand or process “where we have been”. For some of us it has been a very bumpy road with diversions that have brought a lot of pain. Others of us have come from something much easier and carefree and we struggle to understand the pains and needs of others who have come from a place where there was a lack of stability or an abundance of junk.
Where we have been does not need to define who we are and where we are going. I may not have loved every place I have been but I know God can use each of them to grow my prayer perspective for others who may be experiencing something similar. God can and will all of our life experiences for the encouragement of others so it is important to process what needs to be processed. Let God recycle what can be used and transform our trash into His treasure!
Don and I have been able to ride our bicycles three times this week! We have had some gorgeous days recently and I am excited to be able to get out in the fresh air and sunshine. I sleep so much better at night if I ride my bike during the day. I also find I think about things from a new perspective when I ride. I think some of that has to do with being in nature.
We haven’t ridden bikes in New York as much as I thought I would when we moved here. First off, the winter is longer here than it is in southern Indiana. Secondly, where we live there are way more hills so it takes a little more effort to come up with a doable route. And, finally, it is pretty scary just riding on the streets to get to the bike path. There are so many cars and crazy drivers—it isn’t worth the risk to me. We finally put a hitch on our vehicle so we can use our handy dandy bike rack. We put our bikes on and then drive to ride. It definitely takes a bit more effort than I wish because I would ride a lot more if I felt like we could just take off from home. On the up side, we have found interesting places to ride – but some of them take an hour or so to get to.
I am looking forward to more sunshine, warmer days and more time biking. Spending time in God’s creation is good for me on so many levels. For me, it is important to take the time to breath, observe, listen, and stretch — and it even helps me rest better!
As soon as you can, get out and enjoy nature! Whether it is a walk in a park, rock climbing, bird watching, boating, star gazing, catching a sunrise or watching the sunset it can help you remember God’s strength and creativity!